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Interaction quality within communities of practice: contextual factors of utilising different communication media
by Jan Kratzer, Katja Zboralski, Roger T.A.J. Leenders
International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations (IJNVO), Vol. 6, No. 2, 2009

 

Abstract: The quality of communication is essential for most organisational processes, in particular for creating new knowledge. Among other instruments many organisations utilise 'Communities of Practice' (CoPs) to leverage knowledge more successfully. The quality of interaction among community members is recognised as the major success-driving factor. In an empirical investigation of 22 CoPs with all 191 community members of a multinational company, we explore how the utilisation of different communication media – face-to-face, synchronous (virtual) communication and asynchronous (virtual) communication – adds to the quality of interaction. Based on our empirical results, three general conclusions can be drawn. First, the results of our study support theories suggesting that media of smaller bandwidth can be utilised when transferring complex contents. Second, the interaction quality is negatively affected by the increasing number of CoP members. Third, the age of CoPs appears to be an important factor for the interaction quality of CoPs.

Online publication date: Thu, 05-Feb-2009

 

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